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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Day 59 + 2 Crochet Workshops!

Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's of my Beginners workshop this morning, but I can assure you that they did ever so well!

I taught them how to hold the wool correctly, a foundation chain, double & treble crochet with working in rows & getting straight edges.
It's an awful lot to take in in one go, so half way through we started again, from the very beginning with a slip knot and slowly slowly, it all started to fall into place.

Here are the intermediates!

In the first half of today's lesson I went through any stumbling blocks that each of them may have come across in recent projects, which all of them found very useful & in the 2nd half

We followed a symbols chart to get them all used to identifying the different stitches 
& we all made.....



 They all said that they  had enjoyed the workshop and that they had learnt something new!!

For Day 59 I chose a dusky pink that had been donated to me by one of my pupils.
I am not too sure if I had it in my colours already, but on closer inspection it's a very very slightly different shade so 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Day 58 + Guest Blog Day Today!

 I have a special treat for you today - a GUEST BLOG by Beth who blogs here http://bethbutcher.wordpress.com/  

I met Beth at a "Crochet Get Together" in April last year & we have been in touch with each other via our blogs or on Twitter ever since!

You are going to really enjoy this as there is a full pattern in UK Crochet terminology too!


I started to crochet about a year and a half ago and I have to say, I loved it from the first moment I put hook to wool, as it were. 

I have done many projects since but I think the ones I'm most proud of are my wavy blankets. Now before we start, let me just say, please don't be scared of wavy blankets! In one way they are tricky to get started but they only use a couple of stitches, and the pattern is repeated so many times that once you get in the swing of it, you'll be doing with your eyes closed! 

When I started to crochet, I decided that repetition would be the best way for me to learn, so I decided to crochet a blanket to go on the sofa (to snuggle up under). 

Now I'm not going to share with you the pattern for this as it was an epic project! What I thought
you might like was a smaller, more manageable pattern to get you started! I made this for a friend
who was expecting a baby and loves rainbows. You can obviously use whatever colours you like.

The size of this is ideal for a buggy/car seat or as a lap blanket for you. You can use the basic
pattern and add to it to make it bigger if you like. 

The 'wave' is worked over 12 stitches, so make
sure you add the number of stitches you want, in multiples of 12. If you want to add a border, then take off at least one set of 12 stitches (depending on how big you want your border to be).

I used an acrylic wool (oh I can hear the groans already! Bear with me I have a reason, I promise!).

I chose this wool particularly because, in my experience, it’s good to have a buggy blanket that you can throw in the wash as much as you like; that muddy water practically rolls off (not to mention anything else that might end up on it); and you don’t mind throwing in the back of the car/buggy/bag etc. It's also nice to be able to give someone something that they don't mind using.

I promised you the pattern and here it is:

I used 3.5mm hook with DK wool and 5 different colours. 

I'm using UK terminology
Abbreviations: tr = treble, ch = chain, tr3tog = treble 3 together, st = stitch

Chain 112
Row 1: 1tr into third ch from hook, 1tr into next ch, *1tr into ch of next 3 ch, tr3tog over next 3ch,
1tr into next 3ch, 3tr into next ch*. Repeat *to* until you get to the end (with one ch remaining). 2tr
into last ch.
Row 2: 3ch, 1 tr into first st. *1tr into st next 3 st, tr3tog over next 3st, 1tr into next 3st, 3tr into next
st*. Repeat *to* until the last 3st. 1tr in each st and 2tr into top of turning chain.

Repeat Row 2 until the blanket is the length you want.

If you want it stripy, like mine; this is what I did:
Row 1: Colour A
Row 2: Colour E
Row 3: Colour A
Row 4: Colour A
Row 5: Colour B
Row 6: Colour A
Row 7: Colour B
Row 8: Colour B
Row 9: Colour C
Row 10: Colour B
Row 11: Colour C
Row 12: Colour C

Row 13: Colour D
Row 14: Colour C
Row 15: Colour D
Row 16: Colour D
Row 17:Colour E
Row 18: Colour D
Row 19: Colour E
Row 20: Colour E

Of course you could do whatever stripy pattern you fancy! As I was working this out as I went along, it took me a couple of rows to work out that you get a better ‘hole’ if you crochet into the chain space from the previous row and not into the chain (I know, it should be obvious). I’ve never been good at following patterns, hence why, after making my massive sofa blanket earlier this year, I just decided to try my own thing. I have been inspired a lot by the lovely work that Attic24 does and first saw the blanket with the small holes there (I have since seen it all over the place, it’s a classic, in fact the ladies at one of my ‘knit and natters’ have been doing it since before I was born).

Anyway, I saw it and thought, ‘that looks really nice, I’d like to give it a go.’

To work out my colours and because I’m much more of a visual person, I actually drew a few ideas on a piece of paper, coloured them in (you still need coloured pencils when you are an adult!) and then chose which one I liked best (this is something I learnt from doing my big blanket, I really should have done that then and I didn’t – learn from my mistakes people!). In the end I decided on the 18 Row pattern above, as my favourite. 

The EPIC Sofa Blanket!

I hope you enjoyed my little pattern and it's inspired you to have a go yourself! Happy crocheting!

Isn't that a lovely 1st Guest Blog to get my Guest Blog Spot rolling?

If you would like to Guest Blog here then do get in touch.


Day 58 is this very vibrant green

which is thanks to @knitknurse from Twitter who kindly sent me a HUGE bag of wool, so that I can achieve my aim of getting a different colour for every day!

 And I have also been busy working on the next set if eLearning lessons in Course 2

This is a little gift to you.....

Yes, you can get a sneak peak at what is in my eLearning Courses if you click on the link above!

And finally


I have perfected my "roses" and will be making more tonight.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Day 57 + Two new workshops started today

 My first workshop this morning was an Intermediates one.

With one lady I was going through a pattern that she had tried and failed to follow in the Nicki Trench Cute & Easy Crochet book.  I soon showed her what the pattern was trying to tell her to do with her hook and in no time at all she was either making little flowers or following the ripples pattern!

The other lady brought in this very old Crochet Pattern, which her mother had started to work on.  She told me that the pattern dated back to the 1920's
My jaw dropped slightly when I saw it.  I had seen these patterns before, but I had never worked one and there was no "key" or "legend" with it, so it was a matter of working out what went where from the previously made rows & trying it out along with hoping for the best at the same time.  It was strange to use a very fine crochet cotton and a 1.5mm hook after using DK or Chunky wools in recent days!

The 2 hours whizzed by, but more importantly the two ladies went away happy and with homework!  They want to learn to "join as you go" next week!

My new Beginners workshop started this afternoon.  As a few pupils arrived early, I started early and we were soon underway making foundation chains.
Once these were as neat as they could get them, without much practice, we went on to working in dc.

All the ladies worked at different paces and with different attitudes, so I was running around the table like a crazed woman, trying to attend to all their questions!

That's one reason that I like to keep my classes small - so that they all feel like they are getting the attention they need and at the same time getting Value for Money!

I am now exhausted!

If you would like to learn to crochet but can't get to a class then try my eLearning course https://www.coursecraft.net/courses/z9NcS

I just about had enough steam left in me to make my square for 
 Day 57

Monday, 25 February 2013

Day 56 Lots to tell you!

 This is what I was up to last night whilst watching TV.  I saw this page on the WWW about those Russian Dolls & this lady who crocheted a blanket on that theme and I really liked the end result.  I wanted to save the page, then my computer crashed & all was lost so I had to make my own version up.  The Roses in the middle were relatively easy to invent but the leaves were more complicated and took a little working out.  More later.....

Today I got my sewing machine out

 It was lovely to sit at the table and work away, turning that old handle and look out of those lovely windows that let in a HUGE draft but I live in an old house so that' what I have to live with!

If you remember, 4 weeks ago, I started my 4 week workshops?  Well some of the ladies from that course wanted more so I had to schedule in some extra classes for them for the next few weeks.

This is the Project bag that "R" is making - last week she had only just started to join it all together & look at it now!
 Apart from lining it and adding some handles it's ready to go!

Below is a baby blanket that "P" is making
 She couldn't quite get her head around Granny Squares last week, but look at her now!!

She's not only making Granny Squares but joining them as you go too!

And in today's class we followed a pattern together - one that they have to finish off by themselves for their homework!
If you would like to learn to Crochet but can't get to one of my classes then there is always my Crochet eLearning Course available here

Day 56 Square is here

Along with the other 55

Now back to the Roses.....

As you can see from this photo, the center 3 petals are fixed / flat and I wasn't sure that I liked it that much

Can you make it  out in the yellow better?

So I have decided to "FROG" or undo them all to this stage and re work them all so that the three central petals are raised.

I am pleased with this result so I now have lots of roses to re make!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Day 53 - Friday Day 54 - Saturday and Day 55 - Sunday

Day 53 - Friday

 I will start today's blog (Friday) by showing you the pictures that I took in my class yesterday.  As you may have read, my new pupil was taught to Crochet over 30 years ago but hadn't had the chance to crochet since!

As you can see she took to it like a duck to water, or should I say a hook to wool & within 2 hours she had produced a stitch swatch (above), learnt how to make a Granny Square, deal with colour changes & joined 2 squares together using the JAYGo method!

If this inspires you and you want to learn to Crochet then try my eLearning course https://www.coursecraft.net/courses/z9NcS

The big question on Twitter tonight is why we have different Crochet stitches in the UK to that of the US - The Symbols charts that we use are international, so why is the written part varied??  Could it be very simply that the stitches got lost in translation ??
To add to this and to my amusement too, a few of my US Twitter followers have since told me that they hadn't realised that UK & US crochet terminology was different, so it's just just us Brits that didn't know this!!

This was posted by Simply Crochet on Twitter earlier

Isn't this just so true!

Day 54

It's now Saturday & I woke up to this email this morning....

You have inspired me. I am one of those crochet designers from the UK that writes patterns in US terms. Thanks to your post I am changing that. I am creating a page for my free patterns in US terms and a page for UK terms. I haven't done previously as I have found that 90% of my followers use US terms. It may take me a while (I have another chest infection) but I'll hopefully be adding all my free patterns to this page. Sue


@jennyhats from Twitter writes a great online paper 

The Knit & Crochet News Daily

& my blog or video tutorials  have now been mentioned 2 days in a row thanks to @insidecrochet & @timewasting

And another "share" is here.....

thanks to Crochet Confections via Twitter.

Day 55

Before I forget, here are my Squares for the weekend.....

 Day 54

Day 53

And whilst we are on the subject of Granny Squares and if you don't follow Country Homes and Interiors Magazine, you might be interested in the chairty project.